Being close to finishing your Master of Business Administration (MBA) program and earning your degree is an exciting time, but it’s also the time to focus on what comes next. Is it possible to get a job immediately after graduation? While having this kind of degree can lead to more job opportunities, you’ll need to put in the work ahead of time to find a job right after graduating. When you’re in the final year of your MBA program, the following items should be on your to-do list. If you’re just starting an MBA program, make note of these items for when you’re approaching your final year.
1. Start Networking
Networking can be a highly effective way to learn about job opportunities and improve your chance of landing a job soon after earning your MBA. You can network with teachers and staff at your school, which can provide you with additional insight into the kinds of work you can do with an MBA and the skills you should focus on the most for success. Your networking opportunities can also come from events that your school hosts or events that are held in your local community. For example, you might find upcoming business conferences that are relevant to the kind of job you want after graduation. Attending these conferences or similar events means you can meet business leaders and let them know that you’ll be graduating soon and are exploring career options.
Networking can also involve getting to know executive recruiters in your area. These recruiters could have information on upcoming job openings that might fit your career goals. Learning about these opportunities ahead of time can give you an edge over the competition. Whether you focus on networking at local events or with executive recruiters, you’ll be one step closer to having a job as soon as possible after you earn your MBA.
2. Prepare Your Resume
Your resume can be the determining factor in whether or not employers call you in for an interview. While you’re in your final year of an MBA program, take time to polish up your resume, especially if you haven’t updated it since you started school. Update your resume with your MBA information, including where you went to school and your graduation date. If you chose a specialty within your MBA program, you should note this on your resume, since it can help you catch the eye of recruiters and employers who are hiring for that type of position.
When you update your resume, you should also mention relevant skills you’ve learned or other information that employers might be interested in. List any internships you did during your MBA program or any projects you worked on that involved partnerships with local businesses or community organizations. Having these details on your resume can make you stand out as a stronger job candidate, especially as an MBA graduate. When you’ve updated your resume, you should look it over for errors and make sure you’ve included any information that’s relevant to the position you’re applying for.
3. Look for Job Shadowing Opportunities
Even if you’ve done your research on careers, you might not know what to expect from certain jobs on a day-to-day basis. This can make it hard for you to decide if you really want a particular kind of job or if you should keep exploring career options. Job shadowing opportunities provide you with a good way to determine if a job is right for you. These opportunities allow you to shadow an employee while they’re at work. You’ll be able to see what kinds of tasks they do on a regular basis and what their day is like overall.
When you job shadow, you’ll also gain opportunities to talk to professionals in the industry. These individuals can let you know about upcoming industry events you might want to attend or other information that can help you decide if this is the job or field you want to work in. Job shadowing also gives you a chance to ask the employee you’re with which skills are most important for the job, so you can focus on developing those during your final year. You can then add these skills to your resume when you update it.
4. Participate in Mock Interviews
Job interviews can be stressful for MBA graduates but knowing what to expect beforehand can help. Doing mock job interviews is an effective way to practice your interview skills and the kinds of answers you might want to give. For example, your mock interview might include answering commonly asked interview questions, such as what your strengths and weaknesses are or how you handled a conflict in the past. Getting in some practice answering these questions or talking about yourself and why you’re qualified for the job can help you feel more at ease during the actual interview.
You can do mock interviews to prepare for job interviews in general as you work through the final year of your MBA program. However, you should make sure you do mock interviews for any specific interviews you have lined up. During these mock interviews, you can come up with questions to ask the company, which helps show your interest in working for them. You can also practice tailoring your responses to better fit the position you’re applying for. Practice mock interviews as often as needed for you to feel fully prepared for job interviews.
5. Talk to Professionals on LinkedIn
Networking opportunities don’t always have to occur in person. You can also reach out to professionals in your chosen field or industry online. This can give you access to a much wider audience, rather than focusing on networking with local professionals only. LinkedIn offers a convenient way to find and interact with professionals who can help you learn more about the kinds of job opportunities you can expect as an MBA graduate. These professionals can also provide you with advice on finding a job and building your career. Depending on who you talk to, you might even end up being offered a job or being asked to interview.
During the final year of your MBA program, you should set up a LinkedIn account that includes your educational and professional background. You can post your resume on this site so that professionals you talk to can learn more about you. When your profile is set up, you can request connections to professionals or comment on articles they’ve posted as a way to introduce yourself to them.
If you’re looking into options for earning an MBA, contact the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga today. At UTC, we offer online and flexible MBA degree programs at our Gary W. Rollins College of Business. We can provide you with additional information on our MBA programs and the additional services available to MBA students at UTC so you can get started on earning your degree.